how to clean a water cooler: Detailed guideline

Don't you think having a water cooler in your home or office is a great way to stay hydrated? A water dispenser is a great appliance that supplies us cold or hot water at any time. However, for ensuring healthful water, you need to clean the cooler regularly. But how to clean a water cooler?

The US department of energy recommends cleaning the water cooler every 5 or 6 weak. It is the most crucial part of maintaining a cooler. Besides, cleaning a water cooler is pretty easy, and all you need is water, and either bleach or vinegar and some of your precious time.

Before you start cleaning water cooler

Cleaning a water dispenser is an easy task if you have the right cleaning solution. Vinegar and bleach are the most commonly used ingredient to disinfect water cooler and, both of them are effective against germs. So, you can select any of the cleaning solutions depending on what supplies you have in hand. However, don't use a mild soap or any other chemical to clean the water cooler. It may impact on the test of your bottled water cooler.

How to clean water dispenser with unscented bleach

You need to mix one tablespoon of unscented bleach with 1 gallon of tap water to make the bleach solution. It becomes easier to flush the smell out towards the end if you are using unscented bleach; Moreover, while you are mixing the solution better to use rubber gloves and don't spill any bleach on your clothes.

how to clean a water cooler with vinegar

You need to use 1 quarter of plain white vinegar into 3 quarters of warm water to make the vinegar solution. That means if you are using 1 gallon of water, you need to use 5 1/3 cups of white vinegar. You can also add one or two tablespoons of lemon juice after making the vinegar solution.

However, vinegar solutions are 80 to 90 percent effective using chlorine bleach to disinfect anything. If you clean water coolers regularly, it will have a small number of bacteria. So, vinegar solutions might be sufficient to sanitize effectively.

How to clean a top loading water cooler

It is better to clean the top loading water cooler when the bottle is empty, or you need to replace it. Besides, cleaning a water cooler is pretty easy, and you can easily do it following the steps.

Unplug the power cord

When you are dealing with water and electricity, unplugging the power cord is a crucial step. Besides, it allows you to work freely without tripping over a cable.

Remove the water bottle

After removing the power cord, you need to remove the water bottle as you normally would. Then look for any signs of mildew or mold in the connecting point of the bottle and the cooler. If you find any signs of them, use a paper towel to wipe it away.

You can also use a paste of water and baking soda to remove the stubborn spots. You can use a brush to wipe the area entirely and leave it for 2 to 5 minutes. However, leaving it longer than 5 minutes could damage the surface. 

Wash the water guard

Remove the water guard that pinches the water bottle while installing it. Wash it in tap water and remove any signs or dart of mildew. You can use your disinfecting solution to get rid of any germs. Rinse it again and leave it to dry.

Remove the drip guard

Remove the drip guard or tray that holds the cup to clean them. You can rinse them under the tap and use your cleaning solution to remove any germs. If you find any mildew or dart, use your baking soda paste to wipe it away. In that case, rinse it again and leave it to dry.

Clean the reservoir

To clean the reservoir, use the remaining disinfecting solution to clean the tank. First, close the spigot and pour the solution through the top of the dispenser. Leave the solution to three to five minutes before you drain the solution. Moreover, you can alternate both of the spigots to make sure both lines are clean.

Rinse the reservoir

Use two or three gallons of freshwater and drain through each of the spigots. Once the tank is empty, use another gallon of water to taste the water. If you taste any vinegar or bleach, then continue the process again.

Replace any parts and plug-in

If you are satisfied with the water taste, add all the parts you removed from the cooler and install a new water bottle. However, wait for at least 30 minutes before you are using your water dispenser.

How to clean a bottom loading water cooler

You can quickly disinfect your bottom loading water cooler by following some simple steps. But it's better to clean the dispenser when the bottle is empty, and you need to replace it. You can use any of the disinfecting solutions to perform the task.

Unplug the power cord

Unplugging the power cord is the first and crucial step of cleaning a water cooler. It ensures you to avoid electric shock and gives you more space to work.

Remove the water bottle

After unplugging the water bottle, you need to remove the bottle and save it for further use. You need to drain the reservoir and remove the remaining water.

Mix your disinfecting solution

You can use a funnel to mix the cleaning solution. You can use any of the solutions. However, if you are using a vinegar solution, it's better to use lemon juice to remove the strong scent.

Install the bottle

Install the bottle filled with a disinfecting solution and let the tank filled. To effectively disinfect the tank, leave it for 10 to 12 minutes. After that, run the solution through the tap until you empty the tank and entirely discard the cleaning solution.

Refile the bottle with clean water

Now fill the empty bottle with tap water to rinse the tank and drain it through the tap. If you detect any breach or vinegar taste in the water, repeat the process couple of times. When you are with the water is clean, add a new water bottle, or replace any parts if necessary.


After you are done with all the cleaning parts, plug-in the water cooler for 30 minutes before you start using it; Lastly, install a new water bottle and don't forget to wipe off the bottle with a clean, dry cloth.

Final Verdict

Maintaining your water cooler is a crucial task, and the durability of your cooler depends on how you are managing your dispenser. If you detect any sign of mold or mildew, avoid drinking the water. It can cause serious health issues.

Besides, how to clean water dispenser depends on which type of water cooler you are using. Cleaning a bottom-loading water cooler is pretty easy compared to cleaning a top-loading water cooler.

I hope after reading this article, you have a clear concept about the cleaning process about a water cooler. If you have any quarry, then don’t forget to leave a comment.